For my money, there was never a better indoor shoe than the Elastico Finale II. No matter the surface or the size of the arena, any time that a short-sided game crept up, you would find me wearing the Elastico Finale II. So, when Nike got ready to launch the updated version of the Elastico, two things quickly jumped to mind: one- I was excited to see what the newest version had in store…and, two- would it ever measure up to the previous incarnation?
After several weeks of testing, I believe that I have the answer…but is it the answer I expected? Not at all…
From first glance, you could definitely see the connection from the Finale II to the III…but it is obvious that this is an updated/different version. NikeSkin across most of the shoe, but the midfoot section seems to have been layered differently than the earlier version. The lacing section definitely looks different from the predecessor, which tends to happen when you switch to a neoprene style synthetic around the entire lacing system and collar of the shoe. The overall look of the shoe is not as flashy as the last Elastico tended to be, but it still is a good looking shoe.
The Feel/The Touch
The Elastico III still has the light barefoot feel that the Elastico has been known for, but the way the boot performs has changed drastically because of the addition of the neoprene and the low-cut collar. The fit that the shoe now has should give boot fans a decent idea of the direction that most companies are heading in with their collars, especially given the height of the cut. It provides an excellent squeeze around the foot, with the tightening of the laces really only changing how the neoprene wraps your foot. The neoprene and NikeSkin are thin enough to give a great feel on the ball and provide an excellent shoe for passing, dribbling, and shooting. A great all-round shoe…
The traction on both versions provides excellent grip on their respective surfaces. The only issue with the indoor comes whenever you play on some older indoor floors that have a constant layer of dust on them. The turf sole is not so aggressive that it hurts an indoor floor, but aggressive enough to keep you from sliding around all over the place. If one version was to be described as better to use all-around, it would certainly be the turf version.
The biggest issue for the first few weeks was an odd fit/some looseness in the heel. This seems to occur every time I put the shoes on, but goes away after a few minutes of use.
At the end of the day, the newest Elastico is too vastly different from its predecessor to really place one over the other. With a ten dollar price drop and a high quality release, the newest Elastico is definitely worth your time. However, the squeeze of the neoprene will certainly not be for everybody…
Nike has definitely given their headline indoor shoe some serious new tech and it still feels like the best indoor option available, but this new option (coupled with adidas upping their indoor game) does not quite feel as dominant as its predecessor.